Encounters with embarrassment, guilt, self-consciousness, remorse, etc. are an unavoidable part of everyday life, and they sometimes have lessons to teach us—about our goals and values, about the person we expect ourselves to be. In contrast to the prevailing cultural view of shame as a uniformly toxic influence, Shame is a book that approaches the subject of shame as an entire family of emotions which share a “painful awareness of self.”
Challenging widely-accepted views within the self-esteem movement, author Joseph Burgo argues that self-esteem does NOT thrive in the soil of non-stop praise and encouragement, but rather depends upon setting and meeting goals, living up to the expectations we hold for ourselves, and finally sharing our joy in achievement with the people who matter most to us. Along the way, listening to and learning from our encounters with shame will go further than affirmations and positive self-talk in helping us to build authentic self-esteem.
Richly illustrated with clinical stories from Burgo's 35 years in private practice, Shame also describes the myriad ways that unacknowledged shame often hides behind a broad spectrum of mental disorders including social anxiety, narcissism, addiction, and masochism.
IMAGINE YOURSELF AT A SOCIAL gathering with people you recently met and whose company you enjoy. Conversation is lively; everybody appears to be having a good time. When another guest makes a comment that reminds you...